Should Immigration Officials be Reviewing Social Media?
There is an ongoing debate within DHS about whether or not immigration officials should review social media before letting people into the country. Recently, US law enforcement found social media posts by Tashfeen Malik (the female San Bernardino shooter) that explicitly showed support for jihad.
She said she supported it and wanted to be a part of it. And she made little effort to hide the fact.
…The discovery of the old social media posts has exposed a significant — and perhaps inevitable — shortcoming in how foreigners are screened when they enter the United States, particularly as people everywhere disclose more about themselves online.
Tens of millions of people are cleared each year to come to this country to work, visit, or live. It is impossible to conduct an exhaustive investigation and scour the social media accounts of each of them, law enforcement officials say.
…Malik faced three extensive national security and criminal background screenings. First, Homeland Security officials checked her name against American law enforcement and national security databases. Then, her visa application went to the State Department, which checked her fingerprints against other databases. Finally, after coming to the United States and formally marrying Farook, she applied for her green card and received another round of checks.
Her extremism was hiding in plain sight.
If US officials had discovered this years ago, Malik probably would have never entered the country in the first place.
It’s time to re-evaluate our immigration process and to fix what is clearly a broken system.